21-Days to Kettlebell Training for Beginners

Day 7 Kettlebell squat swing

The following is a summary of day 7.

 

  • The kettlebell swing is one of the most popular kettlebell exercises
  • There is so much more to kettlebell training than just the swing
  • There are many different types of kettlebell swings
  • The squat swing is controversial
  • A swing is good if its safe and works towards your goals
  • It is important to know why you’re doing an exercise
  • You should also learn the hip hinge swing
  • Understand the differences between squat and hip hinge
  • The squat swing uses more of the anterior muscles and is less stress on the lower back
  • The hip hinge is more isolation of the gluteus maximus and provides more stress on the back (not always a bad thing)
  • In the swing your arms are just a pendulum with your shoulder being the pivot
  • The only swing that is a shoulder raise is the American swing
  • Shoulders should be slightly pulled back and down
  • Don’t pull the kettlebell up with the shoulders
  • Drive the weight up with the power from your legs
  • To start you bump the weight out and don’t worry how high it comes
  • If the kettlebell comes too high then the weight is probably too light
  • The weight is too heavy if it does not come higher than the hips
  • The kettlebell should be a direct extension of your arms at all times
  • There should be no bobbing at the end or top of the swing
  • If you can see the ground at the bottom of your swing you’re probably hip hinging
  • You can also start your swing with a dead start (dead swing)
  • You need more flexibility for the dead start
  • Don’t over reach for the kettlebell
  • Whether you keep your arms straight or bent depends on the trajectory of the kettlebell
  • If the kettlebell trajectory is away from you then the arms should remain straight
  • If the kettlebell trajectory is up then you can bent your arms
  • Guiding the kettlebell away from you adds more back muscle recruitment
  • Bent arm with the trajectory being out and away creates tension/tugs on the elbow flexors

 

Kettlebell squat swing:

  1. Bump the weight out to start
  2. Let the weight freely drop down
  3. Guide the weight between the legs and towards the ground
  4. Bend the three joints for the squat
  5. Keep the shoulders high
  6. Look ahead
  7. Pull the weight back up
  8. Come back upright
  9. Push the heels into the ground
  10. Pull the knees back
  11. Extend the hips
  12. Let the weight come up and forward
  13. Come into full extension
  14. The weight reach about chest height
  15. Let the weight drop back down
  16. Repeat

 

Task

Your seventh task is to complete several sets of the squat swing with double arm as per below.

 

Start with a dead start if you have the flexibility, if you don’t, remember to work on your flexibility.

 

Pick a weight that allows you to easily get the kettlebell till about chest height but not higher. Pick a weight that requires you to activate the glutes and hammies (hip extensors) but not fatigue them, this is training and not a workout. Your objective is to understand the movement, to analyse the movement, to make notes, and to keep repeating the task over time until you have mastered it.

Perform 8 reps. Put the weight down. Reset. Repeat. Rest when required. Perform 6 rounds. Reduce reps if you’re having difficulty, increase reps if things are improving. Aim to work up to sets of 20 reps.

 

Submission
You can film your kettlebell squat swing for feedback. Submit your video in any way possible. See the bonus lecture for suggestions.

 

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